Tue, Aug 31, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Futures expiration pushes shares to slightly lower close

AP

Shares ended slightly lower yesterday after MSCI Taiwan August stock index futures expired, with the bourse consolidating after recent strong gains, dealers said.

The TAIEX finished 8.77 points or 0.2 percent lower at 5,788.94 in dealings valued at NT$66 billion (US$1.94 billion). Decliners outnumbered advancers 371 to 323, while 181 issues ended the day unchanged.

MSCI Taiwan August stock index futures ended at 245.5. Its previous close was 247.4.

The settlement of MSCI Taiwan August stock index futures provided the bourse with little support, despite some predictions traders may bid up shares to boost settlement prices.

Contract chip manufacturing giant United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) led declines, down 1.7 percent at NT$23.4, but Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) ended 0.2 percent higher at NT$48.1.

The American Depositary Receipts of both companies fell in US trading Friday -- TSMC dropped a slight 0.1 percent, while UMC slid 2.2 percent.

Makers of liquid crystal display screens also dragged down the main index. Screen prices have been falling on lackluster demand and output increases.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest screen maker, declined 4 percent to NT$43.6 and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) fell 3.6 percent to NT$43.1.

Companies tied to Taiwan's largest conglomerate, Formosa Plastics Group (台塑), were higher after a Chinese-language newspaper reported the group recorded first-half net profit at NT$70 billion (US$2.05 billion) due to robust demand for petrochemical products.

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